Total Pageviews

Saturday, 30 November 2013

the cream-off to pollution

I don’t normally go cock-a-hoop over a cleanser, but as the cornerstone of all good skincare, I’d like to platform Clarins Extra-Comfort Anti-Pollution Cleansing Cream. My skin gets it very fair share of pollutants. Commuting and working in the city I’m sure my pores are begging for their own oxygen masks. To be honest, I’ve always used a wash-off cleanser as I like that fresh feeling skin water can bring, plus psychologically it makes skin feel clean. But I’m doing a somersault on that thinking after trying this cream of cleansers.

The ritual is somewhat different. It’s suggested you take a small amount in the palms of your hands and bring it to skin temperature by rubbing briefly. Apply the cream to a dry face. Now, this is the fun bit. Lift hands briskly off the face, repeating this movement around 7 times from the middle of the face to the sides, then 5 times on each side of the neck. The cleanser thickens and creates a ‘suction’ effect to lift off make-up and pollution without irritating the skin. I then wipe off with a muslin cloth. I like it for two reasons. The formulation is very velvety and comforting with nourishing ingredients of jojoba oil and mango and shea butter. It feels lovely if skin is particularly parched. And secondly my skin has taken on a bloom. It may well be that slap and tickle suction action that revs up skin circulation, but then again it maybe Moringa Seed – the anti-pollution active ingredient. Then again, it may be a combination of both. Who cares – it works!

Clarins Extra-Comfort Anti-Pollution Cleansing Cream, £25

Friday, 22 November 2013

GHD straightens up


My name is Jacqui and I’m a straightening addict. I get panic attacks if the light on the power button doesn’t light up immediately for fear they have busted and I will have to suffer kinky and frizzy hair. All day. With this addiction, I have sampled and bought many a pair of straighteners. I am an expert – even down to the cable length. Too short doesn’t give enough arm leverage around the head which makes for limited styling. Each year straighteners get better. Manufacturers up their game and competition can be tough. But I have now discovered GHD’s Eclipse. I am no longer searching for The One. I have found true hair love.

Two industry influencers – one a leading beauty editor and the other a top session stylist told me about these straighteners, so of course I just had to try them. For the science bods amongst you, what cuts the mustard is their patented tri-zone technology. Six smart sensors – 3 in each plate ensure no heat loss during styling and unlike our summers, a constant temperature is maintained every time you stroke. Stylish and super-thin plates give ultimate heat control. Contrary to other straighteners I’ve tried, the plates don’t stick and the chore, not to mention the potential sizzle damage to the hair of ironing over it several times to get a pleasing result is no more. One stroke is enough per section. Crucially they don’t leave the hair looking poker straight, just-straight-enough. Incidentally, I’ve never had so many comments about how good my hair has looked since I’ve started using them. Yes, they’re expensive at £200, but totally worth it.




Thursday, 21 November 2013

Skin saviour

Skin comes in for a battering this time of year. Central heating. Cold winds. Dilated capillaries. So any skin cream with the word treatment in gets my attention. And if it's got Age Support too, then as far as I'm concerned it's a winner!

Emma Hardie's Amazing Face Age Support Treatment Cream is a super duper anti-ageing cream that really does cocoon the skin in plenty of loveliness. It looks gloopy, but blends and sinks in like the lightest of soufflés that actually belies its hydrating qualities. My skin has been feeling the effects of colder weather and warm rooms lately. It's left its mark with tiny crazy paving type lines running across my skin. I hasten to add this is when expected under a magnifying mirror - but nevertheless, my skin needed ER - or more appropriately EH. I swear my skin let out a very long 'aahhh' when I first applied it. A youthful looking glow was imparted, my skin felt hydrated immediately. Oh what bliss! Furthermore, skin looked visibly stronger - like it had been lifting dumbbells. Reddening reduced and skin looked healthier and plumper. I'm evangelical about it, pray to its skin alter twice a day and atonement has come.

Emma Hardie Amazing Face Age Support Treatment Cream, £42.00

Friday, 15 November 2013

A little gifting from Jo Malone

It’s traditionally Christmas in July when it comes to entertaining the beauty press as monthly magazines work so far ahead. This picture proves it as I’m wearing sandals! I remember Jo Malone’s very nontraditional Santa dressed in blue was absolutely sweltering – poor guy, but he put on his best ho ho’s and festive summer fun was had by all!

When it comes to gifting from Jo Malone, it’s hard not to self gift too as everything is just so fragrantly wantable. Presents go from big to small. For somebody extra special there’s their Pine & Eucalyptus Luxury Candle at ahem, £260. I’ve been gifted one of these myself in the past, and I have to say it was the Christmas conversation with family and friends. For one it looked and smelled amazing, and secondly it raised the question, 'would you pay that for a candle?' The consensus seemed to be yes, if they could afford it. There’s also middling prices of £62 for the Travel Candle Collection all lovingly boxed with bold black and cream stripes, and sky high prices of £560 for the Trousseau which is very fancy pants. But on the flip side, there’s the gorgeous Christmas Ornament of a mini English Pear & Freesia Body Crème and Pomegranate Noir cologne at £20. It comes in a fanned out mini box the minute you take the lid off, and which you can hang from the tree. So, whatever your purse can reach to there’s something you can give – or receive for yourself and it always looks super exciting. Happy shopping!

Monday, 11 November 2013

How to do Bond girl skin

If you’re looking to flaunt some impressive looking skin this Christmas, then look no further than the Michael Kors Body Collection. He certainly knows how to keep a girl very happy! There’s no hiding of limbs and decollete when it comes to party dressing, so a well dressed skin is essential for that all important reveal!

For an indulgent soak, fill the bath and sprinkle in a handful of Shimmer Bath Beads. Warm water releases the fragrant notes, scenting your mood to feel good. These super luxe popcorn like beads dissolve to leave a decadent veil of gold on top of the water. Bath time just got special. The Indulgent Body Crème, is just that – indulgent. Looking like a pot of  dive-in-now Greek yoghurt, this lightly scented crème moisturises and nurtures the skin without cloying,  giving a lovely dewy effect. For the body encore, my favourite is the Liquid Shimmer Dry Oil Spray. For a sexy and luminous sheen, shake the bottle cocktail style to blend the tiny golden particles into the oil, and smooth onto the front of the legs,  arms and collarbone.  Skin is Instantly up-swung into one that glimmers and shimmers. I can’t  help but feel Kors’s mission is to turn everybody in a Bond girl. Those in her presence are left shaken and stirred!   

The Michael Kors Body Collection if available at selected House of Fraser stores
Indulgent Body Creme, £39
Shimmer Bath Beads, £31
Liquid Shimmer Dry Oil Spray, £39

Saturday, 9 November 2013

HER hair to go

HER is probably not a brand you’re familiar with when in comes to talking  haircare – but I’ve got a feeling word will spread. Beauty press are already making appreciative noises about it. But for those of you who watch QVC you will be in the know – although randomly the brand’s ambassador, co-creator and co-owner is John Barrowman. I don’t know what to think about this as a) he isn’t a woman and b) he’s not known for his hair, but undoubtedly he seems a very nice man and he’s charming, which always helps when you’re fronting a brand.  Moving on from the singing and acting haircare man, the two standout products for me from this Italian bred brand is their 300 Trecento Revitalising Hair Treatment and their Volumising Powder.

The Revitalising Hair Treatment is a tour de force when it comes to hair that’s lacked TLC. Stuffed with all manner of healers and smoothers including extracts of olive, ginseng and amino acid, simply apply to damp hair and after 300 seconds – that’s 5 minutes for those clock watching and hence the product name, rinse with warm water and hair will feel incredibly nurtured, nourished and soft as a duck feather pillow. Honestly, it really does calm stressed out tresses. The Volumising Powder is adorably kitsch in its packaging, and has fast become my new handbag essential. Rescuing hat hair or greasy flattened roots in a nanosecond, simple sprinkle sparingly on the crown, muss in with fingertips and watch your hair spring back to life.  It’s literally the St John’s Ambulance of hair – or should that be St John Barrowman? Whatever, it brings CPR to fatigued follicles. Fabulous!

HER 300 Trecento costs £26 and the Volumising Powder £14.
Available from and

Monday, 4 November 2013

Crystal amaze

Apart from the shade, what else sells a lipstick to you? It has to be the case. As much thought goes into the casing of the lipstick bullet as the formulation. Lipstick is make-up theatre, and when you pull it out of your make-up bag for a quick lip touch-up, you want a piece of Hollywood.

A-list appeal is what you get with L’Absolu Rouge Swarvoski from Lancôme.  A limited edition for the holiday season, the case has a sprinkling of the sparkliest, prettiest hand-applied crystals.  As for the lipstick, it's movie star fabulous – a seductive creamy red that instantly puts your look in the spotlight.  Just adorable darling!

Lancôme L’Absolu Rouge Swarvoski is available nationwide and priced at £25.